I would tell you, but then I would have to kill you…..or seek your word you won’t breathe a word to everyone, which I guess I’m doing because here I go. In the faculty dorm at Goddard during residencies, we come alive late at night in the living room, wine glasses filled and emptied, hummus and chips put out and ravaged, fruit or chocolate passed around, and half of us on our laptops or iPads partially working but mostly visiting.
What happens? Sometimes we tell jokes, bad ones, not remembering or caring if we’ve told or heard them before, like last night. Some jokes involve parrots, and that’s all I can say. Sometimes we talk about vicious bird attacks, such as the one-eyed falcon that drowned a rare white-faced ibis in a pond before a bunch of photo-taking school children. Sometimes we talk about where our previous students have gone, graduated or otherwise or puzzle over present ones. Often we plan cabaret acts, most of which never come to fruition, that involve “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Irish dancing, skits with Grandma Jim, and most of all, variations of waterless synchronized swimming. We often repeat our stories (over and over and over again…) of what happened when one of us started here or how the faculty women’s dorm was integrated to include men. We can finish each other’s sentences on these stories and just about imitate one another gestures and pauses. We eat a lot of Japanese treats and occasional bagels from Montreal.
Mostly we laugh and try to make each other laugh, which is easy because we are experts in being easily amused. And that’s the happiest secret of all.